The self-help approach based upon author's thirteen years of association (as a community organizer, block club member, investigator, consultant) with East Akron Block Clubs, is presented as a method of helping the oppressed communities help themselves. The paper includes relevant information from a 1980 survey conducted by the author to understand the dynamics of effective neighborhood leadership in this area. The sample consisting of 78 respondents included: 20 presidents, 11 vice presidents, 19 secretaries, 14 treasurers, and 14 regular members of 20 active Block Clubs serving a population of approximately 5000 people.

The self-help approach is not intended to be applicable to all communities. It is not appropriate for those areas where the urban decay is apparently insurmountable. In essence, the self-help approach is presented as a practical-realistic approach to serve only those oppressed geographical areas where, 1) a community can be identified, 2) the residents indicate a genuine interest in community welfare, and 3) a majority of residents are willing to work with their neighbors for achieving a better community life for all.

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